Supporting Community-Oriented Educational Change

Linda Mabry, Laura Ettinger

Abstract


A study of a federally funded program to develop and implement community-oriented social studies curricula and curriculum-based assessments grounds cautions for educational change initiatives. In this case, despite the project director's stated intent to support teachers' desire for instruction regarding local culture and history, top-down support for classroom-level change evidenced insensitivity. Production and implementation of the planned curricula and assessments was obstructed by teacher's lack of cultural identification with the targeted community groups, workload, competing instructional priorities, inadequate communication, and organizational politics. Professional development was sometimes beneficial but more often ineffective—either perfunctory, unnecessary, or disregarded. The findings offer insight regarding educational change and a systemic analysis.

Keywords


Case Studies; Cultural Awareness; Curriculum Development; Educational Change; Elementary Education; Heritage Education; History Instruction; Local History; Program Implementation; Rural Areas; School Community Relationship; Social Studies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14507/epaa.v7n14.1999

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